Curfew vs. COVID: Extending police powers is questionable at best

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A homeless man got a curfew fine, public health admits there’s no science there and the province remains unwilling to address where most COVID outbreaks are happening.


(Toula Drimonis/ Cult MTL) — Quebec has officially become the first (and, presently, the only) Canadian province to have implemented a month-long night-time curfew in the fight against COVID-19. Unless you have a valid reason and a note from your employer, you are forbidden to be outside between 8 p.m. and 5 a.m. Those who violate the curfew and are stopped by police risk heavy fines.

As a freelance writer working from the comfort of my home, this curfew does not affect me. I make my living typing away on my laptop and my business attire currently consists of PJs or sweatpants. I neither have children nor a dog that needs walking. Other than the crushing isolation of 10 months of solitary living and the lack of a backyard, I am lucky.

An 8 p.m. curfew in January, when the sun sets at 4:35 p.m., all restaurants and venues are closed, and house visits are off-limits, will change substantially little in my life. As a white woman, I also recognize my privilege when it comes to my relationship with police. Here’s a link to a woman gingerly being helped down the U.S. Capitol stairs by riot police during last week’s storming by a pro-Trump mob, if you’re not sure what I mean. But just because this curfew does not affect us equally does not mean that we should not question it. (…)

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